Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27, 2010

I figured since I just talked to you all on the phone that I don't need to write too much in this letter.
It was good to hear from you all. I feel like the same person that I was when I left. But then, I talk with all of you, and I just feel and act and sound different. Do I sound different?
It was really exciting talking to you all. I loved hearing all of your voices. Everyone sounds so good. I can't believe it has already been a year. Whoa!
That's so great that Scotty and Ellie got puppies. I'm so excited for them.  I love the pictures. The puppies are so cute! 

Ellie's beanies are great. I would love a cool looking one for when I am home.
It sounds like everyone is happy which is great!   Elder Peck and are off to do some shopping. Probably won't buy anything but we're still going!  Elder Peck wants a new suit so we are going to check them out.
Have fun. I love you all. I will write you again next Monday.
Rakkaudella ja Onnellistä Uutta Vuotta,
Vanhin Behnke
On Christmas morning we had arranged for Brian to be in the Pori Marketplace at this particular spot on Christmas morning for us and the afternoon for him.  I had my eyes peeled on the webcam - it gives stills but updates every 8 seconds.  As soon as I saw them I had everyone come around my computer and they were so excited to see him.  Brian of course was wearing a Santa hat and jumping off of things.  Note there are 3 statues there, one standing on his head so that is NOT Brian!  He is the one jumping off that little ledge.  It was so exciting to see him and then we were able to chat with him that afternoon - what a GREAT Christmas!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20, 2010

Hey Family,
I figured since I am talking to you this weekend, I don't need to write you all a big letter.
Things are going well here. We got 3 new investigators this week and 1 with a baptismal date. The baptismal date isn't so solid. He seemed to be a "can't-say-no" guy and his wife seemed to be in chage and not super interested. They didn't come to church yesterday. Hopefully, we can get something going though.
I hope you enjoy that pictures of me being Joulupukki at our ward Christmas party :) 
Have a Merry Christmas! I will talk to you all on Christmas night at 9:00 pm (MY TIME)!
Enjoy this awesome Christmas week and the end of the Christmas season. I will be there on the next one. I promise!
Love you all,
Vanhin Behnke

Elder Behnke playing Santa or Joulupukki as they call in in Finland!

Joulupukki and Elder Peck
I guess Joulupukki even makes babies cry in Finland!  :)
This is what they ate, thinking some kind of bread pudding?
This looks yummy - must be a traditional Christmas cake.

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010

Hey family,
I got the absolutely giantic package the other day. WOW! That thing was huge! I'm so excited for Christmas! I sent some pictures in some emails to you all. Hopefully, you can tell which apartment was Kerava and which is Pori. Let me know if you have trouble.
The ward isn't very big here. I'm not sure if there is a Christmas program but there is a Christmas party this Friday. Should be fun. We going to use the peanut butter cookie mix you all gave us to make something sweet.
I haven't gotten any letters from you all. I only got the package. Hopefully, you will get the package I sent in time. It isn't wrapped inside. Just a warning. Also, you should be getting random chocolate bars in the mail too. Postage is ridiclous here. It would be a 42 euro package with the candy bars inside or a 15 euro package and I can 1 stamp the candy home. Juts a heads up if you get just chocolate bars in the mail.

We got a call last week telling us that we are getting the car back. YEAH! But it gets even better! They told us to go pick up the car from Rauma and then take it to Helsinki to pick up a new car. SWEET! So we had a road trip to Helsinki and pick up a brand new navy blue Opel Corsa. A Beaut! I drove it off the lot. It's glorious! So now I have a car in Pori!
Quick heads. On Tuesday, December 21st, we are going to Turku for a disctrict meeting. At around 3:30, we are going caroling in the center. So, if the Emmelkamps or that guy is in the center then, I'll see them.
That's all I have for you all right now. Thank you
I love you,
Vanhin Behnke

The kebabs he loves so much! 
Out tracking......probably noon!  :) 
He says this is the "Tree of Life"
Christmas caroling in Turku

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7, 2010

I have no idea what happened to the letter I sent you all last week. There were no pictures on it. For some reason it wouldn't send. Anyway, here is another letter to you all.
Yes, I'm in Pori now. They took the car away from us. Dang it! :) Pori is pretty big. Decent size city. Abosuluetly HUGE area for us to cover. Small ward (YES!) full of old women. It should be fun. I wasn't disappointed to leave Kerava. It was fun though. I forgot to take pictures like you wanted. But no worries. I can get Elder Baccile to send me pcitures so I can send them to you all. I will take better pictures of Pori. I promise.
H cancelled her baptismal date, as you found out. It was a bummer. The morning of her baptism too. We were getting ready to go clean the font and Elder Hybarger had his white clothes in a bag ready to go. Then the call came. We went and visited her the next day. She really likes us. I have her address so I can write her. I took a picture with her. I'm not sure if you got it. I will send more pictures to you. Hopefully, Elder Baccile and Elder Slade can help her out. I think she will be baptized one day though. She still believes. On a brighter note, H.S.  was baptized yesterday in Lappeenranta. Elder Boyer got me a program and he is sending it to me sometime. Great!
That's a bummer that Dad didn't get to see Elders Hybarger and Butler. I got a letter from him today. He wrote it in Finnish. I will forward it you and you can see some more finnish. I'm glad you got to read Elder Butler's departing message. we haven't gotten the newsletters yet. I'm sure it was hilarious. He is one of the funniest people I have ever met. I loved that change with Elder Butler. He wrote me an email too..... and it was hilarious haha.
HUNTER B HAS GOT SOME HOPS!!! I think I can touch the rim (not saying much though). I forgot that he played basketball. I'm proud of him.
That is the right address. I'm excited for the package. It should be great! How are all the Christmas plans going? We have a tiny tree set up as we blare the Carpenters and Nat King Cole all day. It's nice.
I don't have much else to say. Have a good week. I will talk to you all soon.

I just tired sending pictures but it won't work for some reason. I'll send the card home.

Pictures received last week from his last area.....Kerava!

Would even like a picture of the candy aisle to check out all the  candies, but couldn't get a picture of that either - he is KILLING me!!!
No, this was NOT his car!  :)  Only Brian would deem this necessary to take a picture of and send home - how about the beautiful Finland countryside - nope!
His "area" in Kerava